Margarita Bars

Around this time of year, I begin daydreaming. My mind wanders to stretches of undisturbed sand, the sound of the ocean crashing rhythmically on the shore. I find myself lounging, the warmth of the sun toasting my skin, toes half buried in the sand, and the coolness of a cocktail greeting my lips. I daydream of margaritas and salted glasses. I dream of vacation.

Care to join me? I don’t have anything booked, but I do have something that might quench your thirst for some R&R. How does a Margarita Bar sound?

Wait. Not that kind of margarita bar. This kind of Margarita Bar:

Just in time for Cinco de Mayo, I have sweet little bars that boast of a crumbly crust, the peppy sweet and sour of margarita, and the island flavors of chewy coconut. It is a vacation in every bite, even if the next trip is months away. And it will surely be a hit at your fiesta! Salud!


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Margarita Bars

Yield: Serves 12.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

I love the idea of cocktails in dessert form, don't you? The original recipe, as featured in the January 2001 issue of In Style Magazine, called for store bought liquid margarita mix. In an effort to make it a little more wholesome, I have made it with homemade margarita mix, but found the bars to be far too sweet. This adaptation calls for fresh lime juice and much more zest, for that perfect balance of sweet and sour, just like a real margarita. Now you'll just have to have the tequila on the side!

Ingredients:

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
1/4 cup confectioners sugar, plus extra for dusting
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature, cut in cubes
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime* juice
1 teaspoon grated lime zest
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare an 8x8" baking pan by lining it with two layers of parchment paper or aluminum foil, so that the ends overhang on both sides. Lightly coat with baking spray and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 cup of flour and confectioners sugar. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, cut in the butter into the flour mixture, until you have coarse crumbs. Pour the crumbs into the baking pan and press into an even layer. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a light golden brown. Remove the crust from the oven and set aside while you make the filling. Keep the oven on.

In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, lime juice, and lime and lemon zests using a hand held mixer or whisk by hand until well blended. Pour into the freshly baked crust. Sprinkle the coconut on top. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until the center is just set. Remove from oven and let it cool on a wire rack. Dust with confectioners sugar and carefully remove from the pan using the parchment/foil sling. Slice into squares and serve.

Recipe adapted from Lulu's Margarita Bars, InStyle Magazine, January 2001.

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by Liren Baker on May 4, 2012

21 Responses to “Margarita Bars”

  1. Laura (Tutti Dolci) May 4, 2012 @ 7:36 am (#
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    Now that’s my kind of margarita bar, Liren! I’m all about that sweet-sour balance. Have a great weekend!

  2. How fun are these! I am all over the real margarita, but these bars sound amazing!

  3. Mary@siftingfocus.com May 4, 2012 @ 8:34 am (#
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    Liren, love these bright and “Springy” photos. I feel refreshed just looking at them. These bars sound delicious – and a nice change from the usual lemon version. Tequila isn’t my thing, but these bars sure are!

  4. Priscilla - She's Cookin' May 4, 2012 @ 9:02 am (#
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    I agree – love the idea of a cocktail in dessert form! Margarita flavors with coconut – YUM. Perfect beach treat :)

  5. Brian May 4, 2012 @ 9:17 am (#
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    I’ll bring the tequila, you bring the bars. Happy early Cinco de Mayo!

    • liren replied: — May 4th, 2012 @ 1:29 pm

      It’s a deal!

  6. Ah-mazing idea! I don’t drink (severe allergies), so maybe one or two of these margarita bars will send me off to a fiesta at the beach! Sounds good? Let’s go, Liren, pack your bags!

  7. Cassie May 4, 2012 @ 2:03 pm (#
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    These look so wonderful, Liren. I love these flavors, and now I am craving a margarita. The bars look perfectly moist! Beautiful photos, as always.

  8. Rowena @ Apron and Sneakers May 4, 2012 @ 4:07 pm (#
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    Well, I don’t hear any tinkling of glasses to make cheers for Cinco de Mayo with these margarita bars but I do want to eat them! I never had cocktails in dessert form and this seems like a really wonderful idea.

  9. Katie @ Epicurean Mom May 4, 2012 @ 4:43 pm (#
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    Tangy bars are my definite weakness! These are perfect! Can I sneak a little or a lot of tequila into this recipe?? ;-) Happy almost Cinco De Mayo Liren!

  10. Karen (Back Road Journal) May 4, 2012 @ 5:35 pm (#
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    Your margarita bars sound great and I really love your photos.

  11. I’m already halfway to a sunny beach and after seeing your bars there’s nothing more I want than to sink my toes in sand, enjoy the ocean breeze while sipping on a margarita ( I doubt the serve YOUR margarita bars at the pool-side bar)
    Delicious and beautiful!

  12. Lisa { AuthenticSuburbanGourmet } May 5, 2012 @ 12:27 pm (#
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    Liren – both kind of margarita’s sound good to me. I must try your bars soon – they look so tasty and refreshing – a spin on the traditional lemon bars – love it! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!!!

  13. cookingrookie May 5, 2012 @ 2:07 pm (#
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    Wow, they must be so refreshing! Wonderful recipe :-)

  14. Jennifer (Delicieux) May 6, 2012 @ 4:36 am (#
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    Liren these look amazing!!! I love cocktails in dessert form too, and any recipe containing citrus. Who needs tequila on the side with these. Yum!

  15. Nami | Just One Cookbook May 6, 2012 @ 10:59 pm (#
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    What unique bars! Although I’m not much of a drinker, I would probably love the sweet version of margarita even better. Beautiful summer-ish post, and perfect one for weather like this weekend here!

  16. kita May 7, 2012 @ 11:16 am (#
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    I started to read about your day dreams, got to sand and had to skip ahead! I simply can’t think of the beach anymore or I will explode! Vacation – much needed. And one of these little bars too ;D

  17. Sharon May 11, 2013 @ 10:31 am (#
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    The recipe instructions say to “whisk together 1 cup of cloud and confectioners sugar.” I’m just guessing, but is the “cloud” intended to say “flour”?

    • Liren replied: — May 11th, 2013 @ 3:10 pm

      Sorry about that, Sharon! Yes, it’s 1 cup of flour, and I have updated the recipe. Thanks for catching that!

  18. Onanong July 20, 2013 @ 1:28 pm (#
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    I love making these! They turn out great every time!

  19. Nancy July 24, 2014 @ 12:48 pm (#
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    The recipe calls for 1 cup plus 2 tbsp. all purpose flour, divided. I can see where you use the one cup flour, but where do you use the 2 tbsp.?

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